Just Fontaine urges France to give up Euro 2016 hosting rights

Published: Monday 16th November 2015 by The News Editor

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France should relinquish hosting rights to Euro 2016 in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, according to 1958 World Cup star Just Fontaine.

The 82-year-old was present at the Stade de France on Friday night when the stadium was one of the venues targeted in what appeared to be co-ordinated attacks across the French capital.

Explosions could be heard inside the stadium as three suicide bombers detonated vests outside the ground while the friendly between France and Germany continued.

The death toll from the attacks stands at 129 with many more seriously injured and Fontaine, who holds the record for the most goals scored at any single World Cup finals after hitting 13 at the 1958 tournament in Sweden, believes his country should cede the tournament to someone else.

“Any other country could stage the event, but we cannot,” he said in quotes reported by German newspaper Die Welt.

“I think France should forego the tournament,” he added.

“I am very afraid that this black Friday could be repeated. I think we cannot guarantee the safety that is required to host such a big event.

“It is simply too dangerous. Do you really think that people are going to go to the Stade de France in future?”

The draw for the finals will take place in Paris on December 12, with the three remaining participants still to be determined by play-offs on Monday and Tuesday.

The chief organiser of the tournament, Jacques Lambert, promised over the weekend that France would take the ”necessary decisions” to ensure next summer’s event took place in safety in the wake of Friday’s attacks.

”To ask questions about the cancellation of Euro 2016 is to play into the hands of the terrorists,” Lambert told French broadcaster RTL.

”The risk level was up a notch in January (after the attacks on the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine), and it just got up a notch.

”We will take the necessary decisions for Euro 2016 to take place in the best safety conditions.

”I will not reveal what we are going to do because that would alert our opponents. The security in stadiums works well, the risk is more out in the streets, in spontaneous gatherings.”

Published: Monday 16th November 2015 by The News Editor

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